The Great Candy Dilemma

By , October 1, 2007 8:10 pm

Fall is here which means that Halloween is coming. My heart sinks when I think of all the candy my kids will receive, and of course want to eat.

Until now, I have always taken the wimpy way out. My Method One is to allow them to eat one or two pieces a day. Eventually they lose interest in it, at which point I whisk it away and hide it at the back of a high kitchen cupboard. If no one mentions the candy for a few weeks, then into the trash it goes.

My Method Two is to throw away one or two pieces of candy a day so as to make it disappear more rapidly. The most effective approach used to be a combination of Methods One and Two.

But as the kids get older, they seem to remember the existence of the candy for a longer period of time each year, which makes Method One increasingly more difficult to carry out successfully. They also now have a complete mental inventory of every piece of candy in their bag, so Method Two no longer works at all. This year it is clearly time for me to reconsider the Great Candy Dilemma.

MC Milker, the Not Quite Crunchy Parent, wrote a great post the other day about The Candy Fairy. The solution she proposes and has actually used successfully is, in my mind, PURE GENIUS. If there can be a Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus, why couldn’t there be a Candy Fairy? Children leave their Halloween candy on the doorstep at night and in the morning the candy is gone, but a small gift is there in its place. Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that when my children were younger?

The Candy Fairy can come at Easter too. And why not after birthday parties where candy has been a bit too generously doled out?

According to MC Milker, it is advisable to start talking up The Candy Fairy well in advance of the holiday. For example, starting now for a Halloween Candy Fairy visit insures that the brain washing is fully in place by October 31st. Plus, there are complicated logistics and negotiations that must be handled. When does The Candy Fairy come exactly? How much candy does she expect to receive? I am obviously a novice when it comes to all this. For more expert advice, you should really read MC’s post.

The only problem I can foresee in my own situation is how to explain the sudden arrival on the scene of The Candy Fairy to my 5 and 7 year-old who are regular customers of Santa and The Tooth Fairy, but who have never ever heard of The Candy Fairy. I just don’t think they would buy into the fantasy.

After mulling it all over, I have come up with my own “Mom” variation of The Candy Fairy:

This Halloween I will offer a choice. They can keep their candy, or they can cash it in for a surprise from me. I expect that they will opt for the latter. To make it fun we’ll leave the candy outside the front door which is where they will find their surprise the next morning. I think that this idea has great potential. I’ll report back after Halloween.

Now that I think of it, if this works, perhaps we could start a kind of “candy savings account” where all birthday party candy, Valentine’s candy etc. can be accumulated until there is enough for The Candy Fairy to take in exchange for a gift.

Wouldn’t this encourage saving and spending in addition to making the dentist happy?

Thank you for sharing this exciting idea MC! You may well have changed my life…perhaps I am being a tad dramatic…but I think you have resolved my Great Candy Dilemma for another few years at least!

Thanks to and photographer dieraecherin for the candy photo.

16 Responses to “The Great Candy Dilemma”

  1. Andamom says:

    In due time though, your kids will discover (as my daughter did) that you are the fairy of all things. And then, you’ll need to find another option.

    As for me, I’m not adverse to my daughter doing the great candy begging haul once per year — but this year, she has braces so candy is altogether out. I think we’ll probably end up saving some of it — and I will most likely end up asking her to donate some of it to children who weren’t so lucky to go out collecting.

    Then again, I think she’d patronize me and give up the vast majority of the candy for a small gift — like an iPod Touch or a pair of fabulous skinny jeans!

  2. Two Knives says:

    Halloween begins the candy season. It is truly dreadful. One year, I gave out small toys instead of candy, and most kids were visibly disappointed. “oh. thanks.” My husband declared we would never do it again because he didn’t want to be “that” family on the street.

    I’m going to try your version of the candy fairy this year — although I hesitate to bring more plastic junk into the house — it may just be better than 800 tootsie rolls.

  3. The Not Quite Crunchy Parent says:

    LOL – You’re welcome! I think your exchange idea will work well too!

    BTW- we did bring the candy fairy in midstream too. It wasn’t a hard transition as…there were no candy fairy visits in the past because we never left candy out… ;-)

  4. Kate in NJ says:

    We have allowed our daughter to pick
    her most favorite candies out of her haul and we put the rest in a tupperware container to be used for decorations at our annual “Gingerbread House Party”.
    I try to encourage our friends to do the same to be ready for the party.
    If something is very “Halloween” themed, we have been known to save it for decorating a “Haunted Gingerbread House” the next year.I do the same with “goody bags”.

  5. Jenny says:

    I love your idea of exchanging the candy for a present. I’ll have to remember that- it hasn’t been a problem for us just yet, but I know my time is coming!

  6. dawn224 says:

    That’s an excellent idea. You could always donate the candy after the fact.

  7. CelticMommy says:

    This will be the first year that Emerson actually eats any candy he gets, so this candy fairy idea and all your other creative possibilities sound great! Luckily for me, at Easter, we do very little candy and a toy instead. Christmas is hard though since almost everyone I know gets baked goods… and with Em helping in the kitchen he sneaks a cookie or piece or tea bread wheneve I’m baking… but not very excessively.

    I was thinking of doing toys this year instead of candy, but haven’t really figured it out yet.
    :-) Hettie

    Oh P.S. What is everyone going to be?

  8. […] is our “Candy Bank,” it is our extension of the Halloween “Candy Fairy” concept. Every time the kids go to a birthday party and come home with a bunch of candy and junky toys, […]

  9. […] so it wasn’t the Candy Fairy exactly, it was Mom. I didn’t think that at ages 5 and 7 they would suddenly start to believe […]

  10. […] you all so much for the comments on Monday’s post (The Great Candy Dilemma). Your interest truly warmed my heart and I was so pleased to see a few new commenters. Thank […]

  11. […] is our “Candy Bank,” it is our extension of the Halloween “Candy Fairy” concept. Every time the kids go to a birthday party and come home with a bunch of candy and junky toys, […]

  12. […] what to do with all that candy? Check out my Candy Fairy and Candy Bank posts for some alternatives to eating it! Tags: “mom-ideas” that work for me, […]

  13. em in co says:

    Our “halloween fairy” is the tooth fairy’s sister. She was encouraged to go into the candy trading business because so many kids were rotting their teeth with candy. She is very generous and brings the candy to the hospital to lift the spirits of those who are ill or visiting… We started when my youngest was 5 and the middle one was 7. I let them pick a dozen or so pieces of candy to keep and then the rest is out to the porch…

  14. Adriana says:

    We did some fun activities with our leftover candy. Come check it out. :)
    .-= Adriana´s last blog ..Candy Activity #4- Does it Float? =-.

  15. Melissa B says:

    I’d love to read your post but can’t access it through the link. Thanks.

  16. Mom Unplugged says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I just tried and can’t access it either. It seems that that blog is now private. As I recall, her post was basically about what I summarize in mine. Kids leave their candy outside the door and in the morning the candy is gone but a small gift is there in its place (left by The Candy Fairy).

    Sorry the link is no longer valid. Thanks for letting me know!

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